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Bill would tough state’s domestic violence laws

July 31, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers have released a compromise bill designed to strengthen the state’s domestic violence laws.

The bill, which is expected to come up for a final vote on Thursday, would increase training programs on domestic violence, establish state and local domestic fatality review teams to examine the causes of domestic violence-related deaths and establish a fund to encourage practices aimed at preventing domestic violence and aiding victims.

The bill would also make it easier to purchase pepper sprays, provide up to 15 days of employment leave for victims, and increase privacy protections for victims by prohibiting information about domestic violence arrests from being included in daily public police records and logs.

The legislation would also create the specific crimes of strangulation and suffocation and prohibit courts from granting visitation rights to a parent convicted of rape.

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